—A note from Lynn’s’s Coach, Austin:
It’s been an immense pleasure working with Lynn and joining in her health and fitness journey over the last year. When she first started, Lynn was aware of the health consequences from her increasingly sedentary lifestyle and determined to make a change for a healthier future.
I am so happy she took that leap of faith to join our program and invest in herself once again. When she could have turned to several reasons why fitness wasn’t going to work for her (a history of back injuries, long commutes to and from work, and an active life as a mother of two), Lynn chose to focus on every reason why it could. She understood that exercise ultimately isn’t only about the physical accomplishments but about creating a better quality of life for her and her children.
I absolutely admire her commitment and consistency to make fitness and nutrition a priority in her incredibly busy life. The result? She’s stronger and leaner than before, achieving some amazing things in the studio and having FUN outside of it – setting a wonderful example for her children to follow.
Congratulations on all of your accomplishments Lynn!
What made you decide you wanted/needed to start a program?
I had been active previously but a back injury and the pain that went with it had resulted in me being less active. That morphed into me becoming sedentary and ironically, feeling even more aches and pains then when I had the original injury.
To add to it, with becoming sedentary, I’d lost a tool for coping with stress. I realized that if I didn’t get back to being active I was not going to be living the way I wanted to live long-term – but I was also stressed about starting up again as I was afraid of re-injuring my back.
What was your life like prior to starting at Lean Strong Fitness?
I am a lawyer for a global corporation with offices in Guelph – I sit for an incredible amount of time each week and commute 45 minutes each way, and while I love my job, it can be stressful some days.
I also have two kids who are very busy so I am shuttling them around quite a lot. I had stopped making time for myself, and then when I did make time, I was finding I wasn’t strong enough to be doing the things that I like doing (biking, running, home improvements) because I’d become out of shape, and afraid of my back giving out again.
What were your most important goals when you started? Why were these important to you?
My most important goal was, and still is, overall health for the long term.
I want to be able to move, lift and twist without pain or injury, both now and when I’m older. I want to have enough mental strength and energy for a busy long life. I wanted to understand nutrition better so I could be a healthy weight and cardio profile. I want to keep up with my kids (or at least give it a respectable try!), to be able to do a run with them, or try something new and fun.
I also wanted to understand what goes into keeping myself healthy and injury free for the long term – I wanted something I could actually learn and live, day to day, for the long haul.
Describe any reservations that you had before we started working together? Why did you have these reservations?
I was most worried about whether the trainers would understand my back, whether they would really be able to help me get back to being strong again as I had tried to get back into things previously and just re-injured myself.
I was worried I would find myself being pushed too far too fast, or to the point where I was very uncomfortable that I would to injure myself as I had experienced that at a gym in the past.
I knew I’d need to gain some confidence back and get over the fear of re-injury. I was a bit worried it would be a bunch of really young people that were super fit and I’d be the middle aged boring lawyer-mom in the group trying to keep up.
Explain how we were able to help you with your reservations. What were some specifics we were able to help you with?
Ben and Austin are both super candid and open and that leads to an environment where I could share my concerns and reservations. They then listened to and respected my concerns – the result was we started by doing a lot of figuring out where I was really at with my back which helped me understand what my baseline capabilities actually were and what was just me protecting my back.
Austin is my regular coach and he has created an environment where I can put total trust in the process – things are always discussed first, then we move forward, evaluate, discuss and tinker if needed, re-evaluate etc. – whether it be on exercise, or the other important things like nutrition, stress management or sleep.
When I started, one of my goals was to become accountable for my own health (vs. relying on a trainer to always tell me what to do) and Austin has helped me learn so much about what goes into my nutrition, my workouts, my sleep, and stress management. I am far more confident in my ability to progress and feel a strong sense of ownership over my health which makes it easy to stay committed to it.
And the atmosphere at the gym is unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. Everyone is on their own journey, and so there are always people at all different stages of progress and success so that creates an overwhelming atmosphere of support – it’s super positive – I think I am asked every single workout ‘what did you do well’ and for someone like me who sometimes lacks a bit of confidence at the gym, that’s awesome!
What results have you achieved since starting your program? What are your proudest accomplishments so far?
I have lost inches, and I am down several sizes, fitting back into clothes that had been relegated to the back of the closet.
I used to be so focused on my weight number, but now I focus on inches and clothes and am so much happier for it (I can attest to how the scale may not change by huge amounts but clothing sizes can!).
Most importantly though, I am back to actively having fun – I tried surfing when I was out west this fall and got up several times – the core and leg strength I’ve gained definitely made all the difference!
I’m also pretty pleased about my push-ups – even at my previous fittest, I was always doing modified push ups from the knees – while I’m not able to do a full push up yet, I am now, to my own amazement, able to do band assisted push-ups and I can see full push-ups in the near future – goals 2018!
The thing I’m most proud about though is the example I’m setting for my kids about taking care of your physical and mental health – whether they see me doing small things differently in how I deal with stress, see me being committed to a process and getting to the gym in the morning, or the difference they see in my clothes and how they fit – they see it, they ask questions, and are starting to incorporate the importance of wellness into their own lives.
How is your life better now that you have achieved these results? Is there anything you can do now that you didn’t do or were hesitant to do before?
I am far more resilient and confident both in terms of my physical capabilities, but also in how I manage the hectic pace my job and life have going on.
Now I have absolutely no hesitation when friends say ‘let’s go do…’ whereas before I’d immediately start thinking about whether I’d be able to keep up – now I know I can, no problem.
And when things take a turn with work or home, my body being well nourished, worked out, and appropriately rested makes me much more resilient.
What do you want to accomplish next?
Unassisted push ups x 10 and 1 chin up (I have never been able to do a chin up unassisted, but already I’m seeing strength and technique that I did not have previously).
Continued progress and injury free wellness is success to me…and more surfing!
What do you like best about our program and how would you tell your friends about us and what we do?
What I like the most is that the program is about me being accountable to me – it’s not about me showing up, turning my brain off and a trainer putting me through the paces – I’ve done that previously and as soon as a trainer leaves or I was away with work travel, it was too easy to fall away from the commitment.
With the LSF program, it’s about looking at myself, what my goals are, and what I can do to get to those goals. Austin helps me explore what goals are truly important to me and gives me some help and guidance with how to get to those goals – he’s a big part of my success as he helps me define the goals and helps guide me along – but ultimately the process they use results in me having ownership in the process, my progress, and the outcomes – and my commitment level is so very much higher as a result.
I would tell my friends that whether you are interested in long term wellness, or trying to get back after an injury and are a bit nervous, or just fine tuning for a particular race or event, the team at Lean Strong Fitness is excellent at helping you identify goals, unpacking the steps needed to overcome hurdles, if any, and reach your goals, and, most importantly, guiding you in your journey in a way that builds your own personal commitment to you.
They really are different and are so amazing at what they do!